24-7 access begins Thursday
© Darrell Cole – Amherst Daily News
Const. Tom Wood of the Amherst Police Department checks out the intercom located by the front door of the Four Fathers Memorial Library. The department will have around the clock walk-in service beginning Thursday.
AMHERST – Public access to the Amherst Police Department will again be 24 hours a day beginning Thursday.
A new camera and intercom system has been installed at the front door of the Four Fathers Memorial Library that will enable people to gain access to the police department around the clock.
“Since moving into our temporary quarters above the library, the hours of walk-in traffic have been the same as the library’s,” acting deputy chief Scott White said Wednesday. “We now have a new intercom and camera system in place that will allow the dispatcher to let people into the department after hours.”
The department has installed an intercom at the front door along with a remote camera. There are also cameras along the stairway from the entrance to the department’s office on the second floor of the library building.
“When someone comes to the office after hours they can press the intercom button and be put in communication with the dispatcher, who will determine what action needs to be taken,” White said. “The dispatcher can electronically open the door and we have cameras that can follow the person as they come the stairs and enter the department.”
White said it’s important for people to remember the entrance is on the Acadia Street side of the building.
The department was displaced in August when the fire that destroyed the Victorian Arms Apartments caused extensive smoke and water damage to its previous home on Victoria Street.
White said several renovations have been completed in its new home including the construction of two interview rooms that are both audio and video monitored, while a new bathroom has been constructed within the department. Prior to this, the department had to share a second-floor bathroom with library staff.
The department has also relocated its exhibit room and has put temporary exhibit lockers in place.
The library building will likely be the department’s home for a couple of years until the town moves it into permanent quarters. The town is considering converting the former town hall into a police department, but it’s also exploring the possibility of building a new free standing facility.